HUD offers new disaster relief in Hawaii following Biden executive order

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on Friday announced a new round of disaster relief in the state of Hawaii that is targeted for the island of Kauai following severe storms, flooding and landslides that took place there in April.

On June 17, President Joe Biden issued an executive order approving a disaster declaration in the state. He directed “federal assistance to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe storms, flooding, and landslides” that occurred from April 11-14.

“Federal funding is available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe storms, flooding, and landslides in Kauai County,” Biden said in the order. “Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.”

HUD is immediately implementing federal disaster assistance for Kauai County’s housing programs, including a “90-day moratorium on foreclosures of mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) as well as foreclosures of mortgages to Native American borrowers guaranteed under the Section 184 Indian Home Loan Guarantee program.”

Alongside this relief, a 90-day extension is automatically granted to borrowers of the FHA’s Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program, otherwise known as the federal reverse mortgage program, effective as of the disaster declaration date.

HUD recommends for anyone impacted by these disasters to immediately contact their loan servicer for assistance, and for both conventional and nonagency mortgage holders to see whether they qualify for assistance.

HUD has had a focus on providing disaster relief in Hawaii ever since wildfires struck the island of Maui in the summer of 2023. The fires devastated the town of Lahaina, destroying much of it and killing a confirmed 101 people as of February 2024, a figure revised slightly downward since the days following the fires. Two people remain listed as missing and two-thirds of the victims were 60 or older, according to reporting by The Associated Press.

Last month, FHA extended the foreclosure moratorium on the island of Maui to Aug. 4, 2024 as reconstruction and recovery efforts continue.

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